MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — On Tuesday’s edition of the “Powerhouse Politics by ABC News” podcast, Businessweek correspondent Joshua Green spoke with ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein about his new book, “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency.”
Green, an expert on President Trump and senior counselor Bannon, spoke about the pair’s change in opinion during the first few months of Trump’s presidency of Republican legislative leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.
“I think Trump and Bannon both got seduced, to a large extent, by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan once Trump got into office,” Green told Karl and Klein.
The favorable view with which Bannon, in particular, now sees the Speaker of the House drastically differs from previous judgments he has made. Green said Bannon “viewed Ryan as the sum of all things evil on the right side of the aisle” during the 2016 election cycle due, an opinion he no longer holds.
Green attributed this complete change of heart to the fact that when Bannon and Trump entered office, they “didn’t really have a legislative agenda,” so they deferred to the leading Republican figures for guidance.
Ryan, Green believes, was particularly able to woo Bannon due to his support of a border adjustment tax, something Bannon was also “very much in favor of.”
When asked how long Green anticipates Bannon will remain in the White House, he said “you’re gonna have to pry him out with a crowbar,” adding that Bannon is “pretty self-aware on a lot of levels and he understands that no president, except Donald Trump, would ever have anyone like Steve Bannon in a position of power in the White House.”
Bannon, according to Green, is the “ultimate loyalist.”
Green said White House may be better off “if Bannon were better able to stand up to Trump, and to confront him, rather than just being kind of a loyal soldier and henchman.”
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